Lung Cancer Awareness Month: New guidelines for screenings

Nov 3, 2023, 10:00 PM

The American Cancer Society just released new guidelines for lung cancer screenings....

The American Cancer Society just released new guidelines for lung cancer screenings. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

(Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The American Cancer Society released new lung cancer screening guidelines on Wednesday for the first time in a decade.

The new screening guidelines couldn’t have come at a better time as November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

According to a release from ACS, it recommends yearly lung cancer screenings for people aged 50 to 80 years old who smoke or formerly smoked. The recommendation is specifically for people who have a “20-year or greater pack-year history.” That means it’s for those who have smoked one pack a day for 20 years or two packs a day for 10 years, or something equivalent.

According to the release, the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States is lung cancer. Furthermore, the release stated it is the second most diagnosed malignancy in men and women. 

Statistics from ACS estimate there will be over 283,000 new cases of lung cancer in 2023. That includes over 117,000 men and almost 121,000 women. It’s also estimated there will be a little over 127,000 deaths due to the disease including over 67,000 men and nearly 60,000 women. 

Who is at greater risk of developing lung cancer?

According to the ACS website, “the average age of people when diagnosed is about 70.”

ACS statistics show the overall chance of a man developing lung cancer in his lifetime is one in 16. For women, it’s one in 17. 

According to the ACS website, “these numbers include both people who smoke and those who don’t smoke.” 

That said, the risk is much higher for those who do smoke. 

Black men are at a higher risk of developing lung cancer than white men, “…about 12% more likely,” according to ACS. “The rate is about 16% lower in Black women than in white women.”

However, no matter your predisposition, it’s important to get screened if you have a history of smoking.

To find lung cancer screening near you, click here

Britt Johnson contributed to this story.

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Lung Cancer Awareness Month: New guidelines for screenings